Use safer controls for West Nile virus
Counties and vector control agencies should address this risk with the toolbox of safe, effective and nontoxic measures that are integral to the successful integrated pest management programs across California.
The spread of West Nile virus should be placed in proper context. More people are made ill and die from common diseases across the state. Unfortunately, current control methods such as fogging pose extreme risks to our health and the environment. Many of the synthetic chemicals that aren't disclosed but are sprayed over our communities are made up of possible carcinogens and endocrine disrupters.
Fortunately, more effective and safer alternatives exist. We can better stop the spread of West Nile virus at the source. Less-toxic controls exist for controlling mosquito larvae, methods that were shown to be effective decades ago.
Our local officials should follow the lead of other cities and towns across the country, and be proactive rather than reactive.
Perls is a community organizer of the nonprofit Pesticide Watch.
La Perla is part of local history
Recently, the Times printed an article about the impending closure of La Perla Mexican Delicatessen near Nevin Park.
Your article described just how beloved this place is for Richmond. Not once in 63 years has it been robbed, nor is there any graffiti on the building, which is owned by the La Perla owners, the Ponce family.
The family has served the community well and all who are familiar with La Perla love it. It is one of the few businesses surviving in this area. They are part of the history and soul of our community.
We must save La Perla. It is my understanding that it may not have to close if the owners can get help in making renovations and repairs to the building itself. I am urging the city of Richmond, the City Council, the mayor and all residents of Richmond to do whatever needs to be done to keep this business open.
Miscarriage of justice is clear
If you have ever wondered why people have little faith in the justice system, look no further.
A 17-year-old, irresponsible young man, with no auto insurance and with a past of driving problems, killed two innocent people out for a bike ride. What is his punishment? As I see it, nothing.
Maybe his parents will take away some small thing, such as not letting him drive until the car is repaired, but nothing else.
Answer this: Did someone have influence with the district attorney or the judge? I wouldn't know, but in my opinion this kid should spend some time in one of our lovely prisons. Maybe that would teach him to have respect for other people. It might even make him a better human being, but I doubt it.
Bud Van Bokkelen
Some examples of 'ananke'
The Greeks called it "ananke." It meant necessity, so ineluctable that it could just as well be called fate, or destiny. Such, it seems, is homosexuality. A predisposition hard-wired in the genes, such as a hereditary likelihood for cancer or Tay-Sachs disease, if your parents happen to be Jews. It isn't a matter of choice. It's original equipment, so to speak.
I'm a handsome man, and have been solicited by perverts since the age of 7. A petty annoyance, yet it has tended to feed a homophobic attitude. I can't help it, but I realize that they can't help it either. The sexual urge is as universal as anything you can name in human nature. If that urge takes an unnatural form, all you can do is shake your head and go about your business.
It is a sad thing to witness the attitude of fundamentalist Christians, demonizing homosexuals as evil, worthy of stoning or at least shunning. You might as well castigate people who are left-handed or dyslexic. They are what they are and it was not their choice. It is an example of ananke.
And ironies abound. My closest friend is a lesbian. I am her surrogate daddy and she loves me dearly. My only child is also a lesbian. We are as close as any father and daughter. I sometimes suspect that God has arranged this to poke fun at my homophobia.